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9 May 2001, 11:24 am
Two Races Within A Race
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Air Niugini Cairns to Moresby classic

At the 3pm sked, PNG sloop API Midnight was desperately fighting to hold off the Queensland catamaran Saloon Bar who has crept to within a mile of her monohull rival.
Both these boats are expected to be 30 miles from Basilisk Passage by 5pm.

These two boats are fighting for line honours and the strength and wind direction for the balance of the afternoon will decide the outcome, because the two boats have completely different sail plans.

Up in Moresby the breeze is a true south easterly, which means that API Midnight can run faster with her spinnaker pole well aft.

During the morning the breeze was further east which provided handsome gains for the shy running catamaran Saloon Bar, who reaches maximum speed with her jib reacher but will slow if the wind holds in the south east towards Basilisk Reef.

Another 70 miles back another two boats are locked together, each straining for an advantage.

Over the last five hours Clive Scott's Townsville sloop Harrier has crept a precious half mile ahead of Andrew Thompson's Racketeer. Right now Skipper Andrew Thompson must be having visions of the 1999 Cairns to Port Moresby race finish when Andrew Hewson on Farrgo Express beat him by not much more than half a boat length.
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